I picked this ebook up at barnesandnoble.com for the unbeatable price of 99 cents. I love browsing through the self-published ebooks looking for those that catch my eye. Sometimes I rely on titles to interest me, and sometimes I actually rely on the cover. I realize that this isn't good practice for picking out a book, but I do it. I have to admit, it has backfired on me more than once. I've learned to carefully read the description of a book before clicking that purchase button, and I've saved a few bucks on books that turned out to be reviewed pretty poorly. This book, as it turns out, was a well researched purchase that I was happy with.
Emily Grant is on the run. She murdered her husband, William, 5 years ago after enduring years of physical abuse. After leaving town with a long time friend, Richard, Emily finds out that she is pregnant with William's baby.
Through a fateful event, Emily meets Steven Ashton, New Yorker and billionaire, who just happens to be interested in her. Steven has escaped the big city and is pretending to be Ethan, your average guy living in rural America. Richard discovers Ethan's true identity and is convinced that Emily can scam him for money. Emily and Richard devise a plan to swindle Steven for 100,000 dollars.
Emily sees a different opportunity, however. She wants to get away from Richard, and Steven is her ticket out. Her plan is to get just enough money to run away without leaving a trail for Richard to follow.
Plans start to unwind as Emily gets to know Steven and spends more time with him. She begins to fall in love with him despite her attempts to block out any feelings. This, however, doesn't stop her from taking his money and running. She is convinced that she is doing what is best for her and her 4 year old son, Connor.
Steven finds Emily just as Richard is also catching up with her. This is where the action beings. After some digging by Steven, Emily ends up facing her past and together they uncover and solve a mystery. Who really killed William?
This book was surprisingly compelling to read. I found myself reading later at night than I intended. I'm a sucker for a love story, danger and a good mystery. This book has all three. Steven Ashton is a perfect gentleman throughout the entire book, and I found myself wondering what I would have done in Emily's shoes. I think I would have made decisions leading me closer to the man I was falling for, especially one who could protect me. I'm a true romantic and I love a damsel in distress.
The author, Victorine Lieske, does an excellent job foreshadowing throughout the book, and I was left guessing who the true killer was. On more than one occasion I wondered if Emily wasn't in fact the killer and simply feigning ignorance about the circumstances surrounding her husband's death. All of this foreshadowing left me feeling inadequately informed, which is exactly what you should feel like in the midst of a mystery.
The most disappointing thing about this book was that the author sometimes carried a scene or conversation on just past the point where it should have ended. Characters would speak with intensity closing a subject, however, the story would continue with a non-character making a joke or with an extra description of what was happening. These things didn't add any information to the story and left the scene's importance feeling diminished.
I found that the ending of the book was weak and wrapped up too quickly. Emily finds out who the killer is, and bam, confession. End of story. I want a little more drama, a little more flash and glitter. I need closure at the end of a book.
After finishing the book there were some loose ends that bothered me. One was that Richard didn't seem to have a motive other than finding Emily after she ran. He was willing to do whatever it took to get her back and keep her safe. This seems like a motive, but I want to know why he wanted her so badly. There is never the feeling that he loves her or even lusts after her. Perhaps he was just crazy, but I would have liked to know his motivation.
Overall, this book was a really decent read. I would recommend it to someone who likes this kind of story, but I don't think its strong enough to break a hard core action or sci-fi fan into a new genre.